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2007 UCI Track Cycling World Championships - CM
Spain, March 29-April 1, 2007
Women's individual pursuit
Hammer time again
By Shane Stokes
2006 champion Sarah Hammer delivered on her vow to retain her individual pursuit title in Palma this evening, becoming the first to successfully defend the rainbow jersey in the individual pursuit since Rebecca Twigg in 1984/1985.
Hammer led from the very first lap, steadily building her lead over British rival Rebecca Romero. The former rower may have been far smoother on the bike but Hammers punchy style and facial expressions spoke of absolute determination to retain her crown.
After 125 metres she was already 0.337 up and by the halfway point, had extended this to 1.114. From here until the end she put the win beyond question, hitting the finish with a time of 330.213, a full 3.196 clear of her opponent. This was over a second quicker than she had gone this morning in qualification.
I wanted that so bad, a delighted Hammer said immediately after coming off the track. To do it twice [win the title] is amazing. That was an amazing performance by Romero. I knew she was going to be a heavy hitter coming in I know her background and totally respect her. She is going to be one of the ones coming in [for future events].
That was a great ride by both of us. I knew I would have to lay it all out on the line and I did that. I bettered my performance from this morning. I couldnt be happier.
She surprised many to win last time round, but this time everyone knew what she was capable of. Obviously there was more pressure this year as defending champion. Last year there was a different kind, the pressure of not knowing what to expect. There wasnt so much the pressure to perform then I said many times that I knew coming in that I wanted to win, that I was capable of it, but the other people didnt.
This year was pretty much [a case of] coming in and saying, see, I told you, last time wasnt a fluke. It is the real deal, I am here to stay. Everyone was gunning for me this year. You could see how much the competition got brought up this year, there were some really good times on the board. I am really happy with how it went today, I was the fastest today and I couldnt be more happy.
Romero would have loved to have won the title, but was very proud of what she did. She took almost five seconds off her personal best this morning and broke the British national record, showing the huge progress she has made. I am really happy. It was unexpected to be in the position that I was in, given where I was coming from [in relation to her background as a rower]. I thought that perhaps if Sarah didnt perform today, knowing that she is only human, that perhaps I could turn it over. Being here, going for the gold kind of puts a downer on the silver, but overall, I am very happy with how things went.
Meanwhile 2005 champion Katie Mactier (Australia) took bronze for the second year running, finishing 1.1 ahead of her rival Wendy Houvenaghel (Great Britain). She led all the way, although the Briton did reduce the gap slightly before the finish.
Qualifying 1 Sarah Hammer (United States Of America) 3.31.359 (51.097 km/h) 2 Rebecca Romero (Great Britain) 3.31.894 3 Katie Mactier (Australia) 3.35.033 4 Wendy Houvenaghel (Great Britain) 3.35.289 5 Karin Thürig (Switzerland) 3.36.126 6 Maria Luisa Calle Williams (Colombia) 3.36.971 7 Lesya Kalitovska (Ukraine) 3.37.334 8 Alison Shanks (New Zealand) 3.37.710 9 Verena Joos (Germany) 3.38.821 10 Lada Kozlikova (Czech Republic) 3.39.295 11 Vilija Sereikaite (Lithuania) 3.40.412 12 Larissa Kleinmann (Germany) 3.40.727 13 Katherine Bates (Australia) 3.40.771 14 Cathy Moncassin Prime (France) 3.40.984 15 Trine Schmidt (Denmark) 3.41.280 16 Leire Olaberria Dorronsoro (Spain) 3.41.972 17 Marlijn Binnendijk (Netherlands) 3.43.343 18 Olga Slyusareva (Russian Federation) 3.43.759 19 Elizaveta Bochkarova (Ukraine) 3.44.680 20 Meifang Li (People's Republic of China) 3.45.651 21 Martina Ruzickova (Czech Republic) 3.46.193 22 Anita Valen (Norway) 3.49.392 23 Li Wang (People's Republic of China) 3.49.943 24 Neva Day (United States Of America) 3.50.997 Final For Gold and Silver 1 Sarah Hammer (USA) 3.30.213 (51.376 km/h) 2 Rebecca Romero (GBr) 0.03.196 For bronze 3 Katie Mactier (Aus) 3.36.306 (49.929 km/h) 4 Wendy Houvenaghel (GBr) 0.07.193